Only 2 variants of the Fairey Albacore were made:
- Albacore: Base series model
- Albacore Mk. I: Primary production model
In May 1937, the Fairey Ablacore was ordered off the drawing board as a replacement for the Fairey Swordfish as a torpedo bomber. In actual fact, the Swordfish outlived the Albacore. It was hoped that the Albacore would be ready for service by the end of 1938.
When the first models of the Albacores were built and test flown, a whole host of problems were discovered with the aircraft. The controls were heavy and did not respond well to pilot inputs, poor cockpit ventilation, the front of the cockpit was subject to overheating, while the rear of the cockpit was prone to icy draughts, and to make matters worse, the new Bristol Taurus XII engine was very unreliable. Fairey had suspended production of the Albacore until 1939 to rectify the problems. In March 1940, No. 826 Squadron were the first to get these 'fixed' aircraft. By Autumn 1940 3 more squadrons received the Albacore. They were No. 827 Squadron, No. 828 Squadron, and No. 829 Squadron.
On the 31st of March 1940, the Fairey Albacore made its combat debut, when No. 826 Squadron attacked E-boats off the coast of Belgium.
A total of 45 squadrons had been equipped with the Fairey Albacore (Below is a list of all squadrons)
Squadrons equipped with the Albacore:
No. 700 Squadron to No. 799 Squadron:
No. 800 Squadron - No. 841 Squadron
- Michael Sharpe, Jerry Scutts, Dan March. Aircraft of World War II; A Visual Encyclopedia. PRC Publishing Ltd. (2000). Page 226
- Michael Sharpe, Jerry Scutts, Dan March. Aircraft of World War II; A Visual Encyclopedia. PRC Publishing Ltd. (2000). Page 226 - 227